Welcome to the Orihuela Costa and District Branch of The Royal British Legion
Once again the Codex Belix Association was joined by the City of Murcia in presenting the Eighth Edition of their ‘Relive History through Film’ re enactment weekend, a spectacular staging of many of the most important battles in history.
This increasingly popular event, once again attended by over 50,000 people, was staged in the city’s central Jardín del Malecón, which took on an almost ‘theme park’ status as it became the home for dozens of side shows and military exhibits recreating and reconstruct 2,500 years of World Military History.
From Ancient Greece to Operation Desert Storm, through the legionaries of the Roman Empire, the almogávars, a class of soldier from many Christian Iberian kingdoms in the later phases of the Reconquista, during the 13th and 14th centuries, the Middle Ages, the War of Spanish Succession and the great conflicts of last century, from the First and Second World War to the Russian involvement in Afghanistan.
The displays were manned by more than five hundred enthusiasts from Spain who were joined by aficionado’s from Germany, Poland, Belgium, Italy, Australia, India, France, England, Portugal and the United States for this re enactment weekend, incorporating the spectacular staging of many of the most important battles in history.
Murcia’s Councillor for Employment, Tourism and Culture, Jesus Pacheco, explained that the activity is one of the most important tourist attractions in the city. It is also an opportunity which enables visitors to learn a little of their history and to experience the sights and the smalls firsthand. It also allows many veterans and serving members of the forces to mix with the general public and to receive the recognition they deserve for the valuable service that they have provided.
In attendance this year were representatives, consuls and military attaches from embassies of the UK, Russia and Poland, and Veterans Associations of the Spanish and British armed forces including our own Chelsea Pensioners, The Royal British Legion, Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Army and Royal Air Force.
As well as many dozens of American and German vehicles from WW11, some of which actually participated in the Battle of Normandy in France in 1944, and recently acquired by Spanish collectors visitors could see a German anti-aircraft gun, loaned by the Museo del Goloso de Madrid, that was used by the Condor Legion in the Spanish Civil War. There was also a representation of 30 members of one of Russia’s most prestigious associations, suitably attired in Russian Army uniform from 1945, and visiting Murcia to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.
The first re enactment took place on Saturday, a recreation from the Spanish War of Succession, la 'Batalla del Huerto de las Bombas -1706' in which Bourbon troops led by Bishop Luis de la Belluga, allied with a contingent of 6,000 British and Dutch soldiers, occupied Murcia city.
It was followed during the early evening by the weekend’s main event, along la avenida Teniente Flomesta, 'De Torgau a Berlin-1945' when East finally met West, the day that Soviet and American troops met at the River Elbe, near Torgau in Germany, marking an important step toward the end of World War II in Europe and effectively cutting Germany in two.
Saturday evening’s re enactment also included an American Sherman tank demolishing a rather more recent fiat car in front of a delighted crown of onlookers.
Sunday was a little more laid back for the participants with another opportunity for the spectators to visit the main campsite and its static displays in the Gardens of Malecon. The day was concluded by a military vehicle parade and then the final re enactment, for the second consecutive year, the Liberation of Paris, after which the Mayor of Murcia brought down the curtain on what had been an excellent weekend of nostalgia and history in support of a hobby that is quickly growing in momentum here in Spain amongst people from all walks of life.